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Reviewed October 19, 2012

Our group of 17 stayed here the last 2 nights of our 2 week dream trip on photo safari in Tanzania. We were all on such a high it is impossible to say anything negative about this place! I'm not giving it an EXCELLENT only because we stayed at other places that were slightly nicer for the money. The tents at Lemala Mara are HUGE! They are actually wide vs deep so are probably almost the same square footage as others but just feel bigger. Of course, the two queen beds were quite a treat! OH and the wood floors! WOW! And... how many of you have ever had a talking shower?! What fun! Morning wake up: hot chocolate, coffee,or tea delivered to your tent at the appointed time.
We pretty much filled the camp but there were a few other guests who had to put up with us! HA! We ALL had a good time together. The camaraderie out there is amazing... everyone sharing stories of what we'd seen on our game drives. For our group, the highlight was 45 minutes of wildebeest crossing the Mara river in their migration. UNREAL!!! What a way to end our magical trip! As we returned later that day, there were wildebeest surrounding the camp. Talk about up close and personal! I keep saying it but WOW and AWESOME!
Our travel agent's birthday was our last day and Richard's staff put together a wonderful surprise for her just before we left. CHEERS to all of them and a big THANK YOU, too!

Room Tip: A tent closer to the bar/restaurant area is preferable to one farther out. ALL are wonderful.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LauraJ48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded January 4, 2013

Dear LauraJ48

Thank you for taking the time to post your views about our camps on trip advisor. I am pleased to announce that Lemala Ngorongoro has now been totally revamped and boast new larger tents which also have emperor size beds in the doubles and queen size beds in the twin rooms. They have all been stylishly furnished for comfort and convenience. The main area tent has also been replaced and now also has a bar area, beautiful lounge and spacious dining area. All of the tents are heated with large en-suite bathrooms.

Best wishes and safe journeys

Tom Yule

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

This was our least-favorite camp on our safari. While other camps have uniforms for the attendants, Lemala allowed employees to wear whatever they wanted – and most wore jeans, sweatshirts and worn jackets.

We found the food only fair at this camp and the service lacking. The breakfast buffet was set up poorly, behind the long table. This made going through the line difficult. Guests were only able to get coffee and refills by getting up and helping themselves – in spite of the fact that the attendants were standing around the dining area with nothing to do. Lemala is close to the entrance of the crater, but that is about all it has going for it!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Roams-A-Lot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemala C, General Manager at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp, responded to this reviewResponded November 23, 2012

Dear Roams A Lot,
Thank you for your review about our property Lemala Ngorongoro. I am sorry to hear that you had a below par stay at our camp and that you found it disappointing. We have addressed the issues which you have voiced and can assure you that we are working hard to make sure that our standards meet the approval of our very important guests. Wishing you safe journeys.

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Reviewed September 23, 2012

We were hesitant about going to Ngorongoro Crater as we like to go where there are few people when possible. We are glad we went, as we had great wildlife spotting. There were definitely a LOT of vehicles (there was gridlock similar to Yellowstone when a bear is spotted along the road, and some unpleasant exchanges between occupants of vehicles when one violated the "queue" order...very ugly, especially in a place of such beautiful wildlife). And apparently the time we were there (Mid-August) is not peak season!
If you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible, this is THE place to stay. You do get a headstart into the crater.
We loved the camp. We had come from Tarangire (Treetops) which was a fantastic accommodation. But we actually liked Lemala better. Not as luxurious, but somehow perfect for the spot. Small enough to be intimate and get to visit with other guests.
The tent was very nice, clean, and comfortable. Showering FAST was not any big deal. Nights and mornings were chilly but the tent was cozy, especially with the hot water bottles.
Food was really delicious. Service was excellent. The only thing I can think of as a downside is that rum was not among their spirit offering (my cocktail of choice). Not by any means enough to spoil this special place, but just seemed sort of odd.
Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Diver-Hiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

Lemala Camp was exactly what I had expected it to be and more. If you are going to compare this camp to the higher end, more expensive luxury tented camps, e.g. the amazing Kichwa Tembo in Masai Mara, why yes - you would be disappointed. If you researched and understand this is a quaint, cozy, rustic tent camp, you will love it. You will love the charm, location, staff, and overall vibe. I enjoyed every minute. I have in the past stayed at the other lodges at the crater rim. I have came home wishing to had a more true Africa experience. For the same cost approx I decided on doing the Lemala Camp. When we arrived we were greeted instantly with warm smiles and cold drinks. The tents are very well designed and equipped. The hardwood floors, decor, and heaters make the tents very comfortable. You have to take in consideration before you travel the season and climate of the crater. We traveled in late June/early July, so we were aware it was cool, evenings around 55F. Hotwater bottles were provide and the heaters were turned on before you fell asleep/ back on with hot tea when you were given your friendly wake up call.
The campfire before supper was such an "Out Of Africa" experience - this is exactly why you come to this incredible land. Sleeping under the acacia trees, sleeping to the sounds of the animals. This is what you think of and vision when you plan your trip to Africa. Why not then experience the magic. To make a lodge into a fancy and luxurious camp would only take away from such a true experience. The other guests you meet are fun to talk with in the evenings chatting and sharing stories, and the small intimate camp really make this a lifetime memory. It did for me. We had just finished climbing Kilimanjaro, so we needed these extra days to relax and take it all in. Highlight - the impromptu making of fresh Bloody Mary's before supper. Staff had fresh tomatoes, Tabasco sauce and on the spot turned it all into the best Bloody Mary's I ever had. Food fantastic. Walking safari, and all the extra benefits of being the first in the crater due to location. I had stayed in the other hotel lodges and remember the long drives to getting to the crater floor, this was such a treat to have it all right in your own backyard before anyone else. It was as if the park was only ours to enjoy. Would I go back to the Lemala again? In a heart beat! I can stay in a hotel room when I get home, a tent in Africa I can not ~!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank hometown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

We were disappointed by this camp, largely because we had just come from the Lemala Manyara, which was similar but just a little bit better in every way. This camp sort of felt like the "B" version of the Manyara camp. Service was generally good, but the tent had a broken lamp, a crooked mirror, and a bathroom that was laid out poorly. Everything just felt a bit rundown, and not as well maintained. Location is excellent for an early morning crater start.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank NycWinston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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